Posted by Jason Wood on September 12, 2006
Admit it, as a kid you thought there was an explicit answer to the owl's query about how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, didn't you?
These days our curiosities may revolve around other things, but are no less nebulous at times.
Today my curiosity turns to how likely a wide receiver is to enjoy 1,000+ yards receiving for the first time in any given season. As an Eagles fan, my expectations for the newly-acquired Donte Stallworth were minimal. After all, he failed to break the 1,000-yard mark in his first four seasons. But his Week One output (6 receptions, 141 yards, 1 TD) has my homerism in full bloom and I now have visions of Fred Barnett dancing in my head. So I asked myself, how often is a receiver likely to break the 1,000-yard mark in Year 5 or later after not doing so in Years 1-4?
Among players debuting in 1990 or later, 75 wide receivers have recorded at least one 1,000-yard season. Of those, only 20 had their first 1,000-yard campaign in Year 5 or later:
|LastName||FirstName||1st 1K Season||# 1K Seasons|
Of those 20, nine (45%) had one and only one 1,000-yard season while seven (35%) have recored three or more 1K seasons. More germane to my Stallworth curiosity, nine (45%) of the 20 came in Year 5. It appears that WRs who hit the 1K mark in Year 5 have a higher rate of excellence in future years:
- Average # of 1K seasons for WRs who have their first 1K season in Year 5 = 2.89
- Average # of 1K seasons for WRs who have their first 1K season in Year 6+ = 1.73
20 instances in 15 years is, in my mind, neither something we can label as common or exceedingly rare. The fact is, it happens, but it's less likely a receiver will break into the elite 1,000-yard category and stay there if it takes him until his 5th season.
- Average # of 1K seasons for WRs who have their first 1K season in Year 5+ = 2.25
- Average # of 1K seasons for WRs who have their first 1K season in Years 1-4 = 2.82
I'm not sure whether Donte Stallworth will have a career like Derrick Mason's, but I'll just be happy if he doesn't end up with one like Michael Westbrook's.